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Sankey Diagram in R

How to create sankey diagrams in R with Plotly.


New to Plotly?

Plotly is a free and open-source graphing library for R. We recommend you read our Getting Started guide for the latest installation or upgrade instructions, then move on to our Plotly Fundamentals tutorials or dive straight in to some Basic Charts tutorials.

Basic Sankey Diagram

library(plotly)

fig <- plot_ly(
    type = "sankey",
    orientation = "h",

    node = list(
      label = c("A1", "A2", "B1", "B2", "C1", "C2"),
      color = c("blue", "blue", "blue", "blue", "blue", "blue"),
      pad = 15,
      thickness = 20,
      line = list(
        color = "black",
        width = 0.5
      )
    ),

    link = list(
      source = c(0,1,0,2,3,3),
      target = c(2,3,3,4,4,5),
      value =  c(8,4,2,8,4,2)
    )
  )
fig <- fig %>% layout(
    title = "Basic Sankey Diagram",
    font = list(
      size = 10
    )
)

fig

Create Canvas

library(plotly)

fig <- plot_ly(
    type = "sankey",
    domain = list(
      x =  c(0,1),
      y =  c(0,1)
    ),
    orientation = "h",
    valueformat = ".0f",
    valuesuffix = "TWh"
)
fig <- fig %>% layout(
    title = "Energy forecast for 2050, UK - Department of Energy & Climate Change",
    font = list(
      size = 10
    ),
    xaxis = list(showgrid = F, zeroline = F),
    yaxis = list(showgrid = F, zeroline = F)
  )

Add Nodes

library(plotly)
library(rjson)

json_file <- "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/plotly/plotly.js/master/test/image/mocks/sankey_energy.json"
json_data <- fromJSON(paste(readLines(json_file), collapse=""))

fig <- plot_ly(
    type = "sankey",
    domain = list(
      x =  c(0,1),
      y =  c(0,1)
    ),
    orientation = "h",
    valueformat = ".0f",
    valuesuffix = "TWh",

    node = list(
      label = json_data$data[[1]]$node$label,
      color = json_data$data[[1]]$node$color,
      pad = 15,
      thickness = 15,
      line = list(
        color = "black",
        width = 0.5
      )
    )
  ) 
fig <- fig %>% layout(
    title = "Energy forecast for 2050, UK - Department of Energy & Climate Change",
    font = list(
      size = 10
    ),
    xaxis = list(showgrid = F, zeroline = F),
    yaxis = list(showgrid = F, zeroline = F)
)

Add Links

library(plotly)
library(rjson)

json_file <- "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/plotly/plotly.js/master/test/image/mocks/sankey_energy.json"
json_data <- fromJSON(paste(readLines(json_file), collapse=""))

fig <- plot_ly(
    type = "sankey",
    domain = list(
      x =  c(0,1),
      y =  c(0,1)
    ),
    orientation = "h",
    valueformat = ".0f",
    valuesuffix = "TWh",

    node = list(
      label = json_data$data[[1]]$node$label,
      color = json_data$data[[1]]$node$color,
      pad = 15,
      thickness = 15,
      line = list(
        color = "black",
        width = 0.5
      )
    ),

    link = list(
      source = json_data$data[[1]]$link$source,
      target = json_data$data[[1]]$link$target,
      value =  json_data$data[[1]]$link$value,
      label =  json_data$data[[1]]$link$label
    )
  ) 
fig <- fig %>% layout(
    title = "Energy forecast for 2050<br>Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change, Tom Counsell via <a href='https://bost.ocks.org/mike/sankey/'>Mike Bostock</a>",
    font = list(
      size = 10
    ),
    xaxis = list(showgrid = F, zeroline = F),
    yaxis = list(showgrid = F, zeroline = F)
)

fig

Style Sankey Diagram

library(plotly)
library(rjson)

json_file <- "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/plotly/plotly.js/master/test/image/mocks/sankey_energy_dark.json"
json_data <- fromJSON(paste(readLines(json_file), collapse=""))

fig <- plot_ly(
    type = "sankey",
    domain = list(
      x =  c(0,1),
      y =  c(0,1)
    ),
    orientation = "h",
    valueformat = ".0f",
    valuesuffix = "TWh",

    node = list(
      label = json_data$data[[1]]$node$label,
      color = json_data$data[[1]]$node$color,
      pad = 15,
      thickness = 15,
      line = list(
        color = "black",
        width = 0.5
      )
    ),

    link = list(
      source = json_data$data[[1]]$link$source,
      target = json_data$data[[1]]$link$target,
      value =  json_data$data[[1]]$link$value,
      label =  json_data$data[[1]]$link$label
    )
  )
fig <- fig %>% layout(
    title = "Energy forecast for 2050<br>Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change, Tom Counsell via <a href='https://bost.ocks.org/mike/sankey/'>Mike Bostock</a>",
    font = list(
      size = 10,
      color = 'white'
    ),
    xaxis = list(showgrid = F, zeroline = F, showticklabels = F),
    yaxis = list(showgrid = F, zeroline = F, showticklabels = F),
    plot_bgcolor = 'black',
    paper_bgcolor = 'black'
)

fig

Define Node Position

The following example sets node.x and node.y to place nodes in the specified locations, except in the snap arrangement (default behaviour when node.x and node.y are not defined) to avoid overlapping of the nodes, therefore, an automatic snapping of elements will be set to define the padding between nodes via nodepad. The other possible arrangements are: 1) perpendicular 2) freeform 3) fixed

library(plotly)
fig <- plot_ly(
  type = "sankey",
  arrangement = "snap",
  node = list(
    label = c("A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "F"),
    x = c(0.2, 0.1, 0.5, 0.7, 0.3, 0.5),
    y = c(0.7, 0.5, 0.2, 0.4, 0.2, 0.3),
    pad = 10), # 10 Pixel
  link = list(
    source = c(0, 0, 1, 2, 5, 4, 3, 5),
    target = c(5, 3, 4, 3, 0, 2, 2, 3),
    value = c(1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2)))
fig <- fig %>% layout(title = "Sankey with manually positioned node")

fig

Reference

See https://plotly.com/r/reference/#sankey for more information and options!

What About Dash?

Dash for R is an open-source framework for building analytical applications, with no Javascript required, and it is tightly integrated with the Plotly graphing library.

Learn about how to install Dash for R at https://dashr.plot.ly/installation.

Everywhere in this page that you see fig, you can display the same figure in a Dash for R application by passing it to the figure argument of the Graph component from the built-in dashCoreComponents package like this:

library(plotly)

fig <- plot_ly() 
# fig <- fig %>% add_trace( ... )
# fig <- fig %>% layout( ... ) 

library(dash)
library(dashCoreComponents)
library(dashHtmlComponents)

app <- Dash$new()
app$layout(
    htmlDiv(
        list(
            dccGraph(figure=fig) 
        )
     )
)

app$run_server(debug=TRUE, dev_tools_hot_reload=FALSE)